Quarterly read: Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Just finished Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink.

Overview at the bottom.

My top 5 takeaways.

  1. Hospitals need to plan more aggressively and not “believe” that all resources will be available to support in a crisis.
  2. Real exercises need to happen. Tabletops are not enough to test hospital gaps.
  3. Emergency Management needs to be involved early to objectively review and evaluate performance…esp as a third party evaluator.
  4. Reduction in system-wide variables will lead to less confusion. Actions taken outside protocol and/or made on emotion will likely be a bad decision.
  5. All patients/people are important.

Seems like all these items listed above are consistent with other organizations and agencies huh?

What are you reading this quarter?

@rusnivek

 

Overview

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.

In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.

One of The New York Times‘ Best Ten Books of the Year

Definitely an all-hazards approach to events in NOLA

Good to see so much emphasis put on event planning and pre-staged apparatus for events ongoing in NOLA.

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Just the sheer number of agencies involved is a clear sign that emergency agencies here truly believe in the all-hazards mantra.

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Well done to all visible and unmarked agencies involved in providing public safety.

@rusnivek

 

First time back to NOLA at the International Disaster Conference & Expo

I was honored to teach at the 2015 International Disaster Conference & Expo (IDCE) in New Orleans.

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My first return to Louisiana since being deployed down here for Hurricane Katrina/Rita in 2005.

Happy Mardi Gras y’all!

@rusnivek